Things I can’t do now that I’ve graduated college

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I may be 23 and a college graduate, but every single time those commercials come on with the dancing binders and all the cues that people need to get their lives back together again, I get so excited. In grade school, it meant getting new clothes and school supplies (honestly, I was more excited for school supplies), and in college, it meant new school supplies and a premeditated hatred for a class based on its syllabus.

Now, it means putting on a jacket before going to work.

Knowing that I’m officially done with having nothing to do on a Tuesday except sit at a desk and fantasize about what I’m going to eat after class has me missing certain things about college.

1. There’s no more hype about hitting the town hard on our first night back at college.

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2. It is no longer acceptable for me to spread all my new folders and binders on my floor and spend several hours deciding how I want to color code them with my classes.

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3. Those three-hour naps I used to take after my noon class, with Sex and the City on low volume and the promise of Subway when I woke up, those will never happen again.

 

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4. The “I just rolled out of bed in my sweatpants and baseball t-shirt” look doesn’t fly in the work place, even on the West Coast. And actually, even in public it isn’t completely acceptable. When you do that after college, you’re kind of on the same playing field as those people who wear onesies to Walmart.

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5. You can’t “skip” work the way you’d “skip” class. Even if you email your boss that morning, even if your tummy hurts, even if there’s a fire, because you’re getting paid.

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6.  And finally, once you walk across the stage, you lose all ability to party, or stay up later than 10 p.m. on a weeknight. You have to work in the morning, you’re an adult.

bedtime

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I’m a changed woman… Kind of

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I apologize for the lag between posts, it’s just that I’ve been so busy figuring out this “real person” thing, and getting used to having to tuck in every shirt. But I’ve also learned that I’m a changed woman since moving to the west coast… And then there are some points I cannot budge on.

Things I will not change:

1.The correct pronunciation of Lancaster (LANC-ist-er). I hear Lancaster thrown around a lot because of being closer to Lancaster, Calif., but they don’t say it right (LAN-cast-er). It’s just not natural. If I came over here and just went all Chandler and said, “Oh, I SO want to to go to CAL-if-orni-A” I would be shunned faster than you could say tsunami. Which also happens here.

It’s cool, east coast. No need to prepare me for the most terrifying weather disaster the world has ever known. When Alaska was at risk for a tsunami a couple weeks ago, everyone in my office was asking whether or not we would get one in Oregon. My reaction? I went on weather.com, looked at the 10-day forecast and said, “Well, it doesn’t look like it’ll affect us.” I was thinking about a hurricane. A hurricane, east coast. That’s what you’ve done to me. What happens when Alaska gets a tsunami? Oregon gets a tsunami. Not rain. If one state gets a natural disaster, it ruins it for the entire coast.

So, yeah, I’ll keep Lancaster in my way, west coast. You keep your tsunamis.

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2. My snobbish taste in farmers’ markets. In Pa., we have Amish pastries and strong coffee. In Oregon, we have flowers and organic vegetables. Do I fully grasp the meaning of organic after living here for almost two months? Not even close. Do I want to? Offer me a large cup of coffee at a ridiculously low price and we can talk.

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3. Saying Pa. when referring to Pennsylvania. It’s all I have left of home. I’ve also realized that Pa. is the only state I’m aware of in which its natives refer to it by it’s postal abbreviation. No one out here says OR, or CA, and I think they think we’re weird for thinking so highly of ourselves to use our state’s postal abbreviation like the whole world should know it. I mean, they should, but still.

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Things I have begun to change:

1. Coincidentally, I gave up coffee. I don’t know if it was the lack of a good strong coffee that didn’t cost $5 that got me off of it, but ever since I stopped drinking it I’ve never fallen asleep earlier in my life.

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2. I no longer desperately need to go five over the speed limit at all times. Maybe the reason everyone on the east coast needs to drive so fast is because it’s not as pretty as the west coast. All I know is that now, before I simultaneously honk my horn and give whomever the bird, I look out at the bay/ocean/field/mountains/port/flowers and think, I’m only five minutes away from a McDonald’s breakfast burrito.

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3. I’ve stopped expecting people to be nice. Yes, I brought some of that east coast cynicism with me, but it’s been helpful. When you expect either no response to your “thank you” or “nice to meet you,” a rude response or an opinion you did not, in any way, shape or form invite, you’re actually surprised and that much more grateful for the nice people you come across. Albeit, a little suspicious, but yeah.

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And that is what two months in Oregon has taught me.